I got my library passport stamped this weekend at the International District/Chinatown Branch of Seattle Public Library. SPL has handed out passports with all 27 library locations represented, to celebrate the successful completion of the Library’s 10-year building program, Libraries for All. Patrons who get a stamp from all the libraries by January will have a really cool passport with 27 unique stamps and get entered into a drawing for a prize. The architect of my local branch even created a special additional stamp for the celebration. There are groups, like the hiking Mountaineers, who are working together to visit every branch, passports in hand.
Not only do I love the serendipitous discovery of stuff on the shelf at another branch (eg. after Sunday’s find, I now have a new favorite movie Waitress), I’m a big fan of passports and stamps. At school, my kids have been doing the Passport Geography Club, another fine example of motivational learning. And I know that there are summer reading programs for all ages all over the place, but I’ve been thinking…
Why don’t we use a similar motivational effort to encourage folks to explore libraries and learning in other ways? What about a “Reading Passport” with sections for different disciplines or literature from different periods? What about one with a section to stamp if you were a part of a discussion about a book or if you did an impromptu book talk on the bus? And how cool would it be if we got to the point where people would include their library passport credentials on their resume or as a part of their political campaigns?
The Minneapolis Public Library‘s new central branch is not only beautiful and light-filled, it is also clearly thriving. The constant flux of people flowing in and out of the library at midday on a Friday was way beyond any additional traffic attributed to PLA attendees. I’ll let the photos tell the story.
A prime example of a thriving library.
Make sure you check out the current Library of the Month spotlight, courtesy of WJ Illinois. Harper College library has really demonstrated some great ways to engage students using Web 2.0 technologies.
The spotlight article showcases efforts to connect with a student population that has grown up with the web. Del.ico.us tagging, online courses, Flickr accounts, digital “Read” posters, a blog, and a vodcasts are all part of the mix.
The Web 2.0 recipe du jour seems to demand online video. Depending on the site, that can be a blessing or a curse. Over the past year, I’ve worked through a number of hit and miss library-specific YouTube offerings. But this fun effort by Harper College definitely hits—it’s amusing, informative, and well produced, without seeming over-the-top or slick. If your library is thinking about trying out video, Harper is a good example to emulate.There’s much more in the spotlight article, so be sure to give it a read.
Our Library of the Month spotlight addresses an issue that many in the library world have faced: how can we continue to provide our services in the face of shrinking budgets? While none of us (normally) seek out organizational crises, the outcome of such pain can sometimes spark true innovation.
Bonnie McKewon, administrator of Northwest Iowa Library Services (NWILS) tells WebJunction how an ongoing slide in funding helped the organization to change how they delivered consultancy services. As budget and staffing shortfalls made clear the impossibility of their current model, they embraced an opportunity to develop an innovative, sustainable virtual-team/consulting model!
The spotlight provides insight into their successful program.
Bonnie is also presenting the WebJunction webinar this week on Thursday January 24, 2008 on the topic of Let’s Collaborate in 2008. She’ll provide suggestions on how to reinvigorate cooperation amongst libraries. Please join us for the webinar or stay tuned for the archive and associated resources.
edit: An archive of Bonnie’s webinar is now available for viewing at your convenience.